Borussia Moenchengladbach turned in an excellent second-half performance to stave off a potential DFB Pokal upset at second division side FC St Pauli to win 4-1.
The team from Hamburg were in the lead through Marc Rzatkowski's piledriver, but Moenchengladbach steadied themselves after the break and scored three times in 13 minutes. Lars Stindl scored his first competitive goal for the Foals since joining from Hannover, his goal set up by fantastic wing-play by Ibrahima Traore.
The talented Guinean slammed in a solo-effort less than a minute later to turn the tie before Stindl hit his double on 67 minutes. Substitute Thorgan Hazard added his own impression on the game, scoring a fine goal with four minutes left on the clock.
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Moenchengladbach went out to lower-league opposition last season and head coach Lucien Favre saw his side face one of the toughest draws of the Bundesliga clubs. Injuries to key central defenders meant a debut for Andreas Christensen -- a loan signing from Chelsea -- and academy graduate Marvin Schulz.
The pair coped well under intense pressure from the second division side who played direct to Lennart Thy in attack. Thy was a bustling performer, missing a good chance in the ninth minute as the ball flew across the face of goal.
St Pauli has made a good start to the 2.Bundesliga season following last year's late survival from a near-devastating drop to the third-tier of German football. The Hamburg-based club have four points from two games and sit near the top of the table -- but promotion would be an exceptional achievement.
St Pauli's opener on 33 minutes was something extraordinary, indeed. A crisp, passing move found its way to holding-midfielder Rzatkowski around 30 yards from goal and he struck powerfully into the top corner.
The atmosphere -- already simmering -- was turned up a notch by the goal. St Pauli played the rest of the half confidently and left the field with a goal advantage. But the second half would turn rather quickly as Traore dragged Gladbach out of the mire with some outstanding play on the right-wing.
On 52 minutes, he turned the full-back inside-out, drawing the ball to Stindl, the former Hannover captain, who powered home his first goal in Gladbach colors. A minute later, the momentum shifted completely as Traore went on a mazy run, then proceeding to bend the ball wonderfully into the opposite corner of the goal.
Stindl's second on 67 minutes -- a first-time finish on the half-volley -- handed the Foals a two-goal cushion at the Millerntor Stadium with the giant ferris wheel sparkling in the background.
St Pauli was presented with a handful of chances to peg Gladbach back, the first from Rzatkowski forcing Yann Sommer into a fine save at his near-post. A few minutes later, striker Verhoek should have cut the arrears to just one goal.
But highly-rated Hazard finished off the match, latching on to a through ball and smashing the ball high into the net from a tight angle.
Earlier, Hertha Berlin beat last season's Cup showoffs Arminia Bielefeld with late goals from Salomon Kalou and Vladimir Darida.
Pal Dardai's men were verging on becoming another Bundesliga casualty until Kalou held his run and finished off Nico Schulz's neat pass. With two minutes left, Darida struck a left-foot shot into the net to secure Hertha's spot in the next round.
Despite leading 1-0, VfL Osnabrueck's clash with RB Leipzig was abandoned after 71 minutes when the referee was struck by a lighter from the home supporters.
Halil Savran scored for the 3.Liga side in the first minute, and they held out against the well-financed Leipzig who are favorites for promotion to the Bundesliga. Match official Martin Petersen was struck by an abject with around 20 minutes left and he took the players off the pitch. A decision on the final outcome has still to be made.
The draw for the second round takes place on Friday.